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Analyses and Commentaries

International law and the sovereignty over Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes (Part 2)

South China Sea

Part 2: : Pressure and reaction

In recent decades, in its relations with Vietnam, China has twice used force to win the right to possess the islands, on January 19, 1974 in Paracels (Hoang Sa in Vietnamese) and on March 14, 1988 in Spratlys (Truong Sa in Vietmanese).

After the above-mentioned incidents, although the two countries normalized relations in 1991, tensions do still exist in the sea ([1]). The adoption of the People’s Republic of China’s Law on Territorial Waters on February 25, 1992, which reaffirmed China’s claims to the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa stirred a new wave of concern in Southeast Asia ([2]) about China’s profound calculation.

In turn, on January 2, 1995, the relations between China and the Philippines became strained. The Philippines accused China of militarily invading a small rocky island in the Truong Sa archipelago, the sovereignty to which had been claimed by…

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